Wenona Gardner – White Turtle Rainbow



by Wenona Gardner

I sit here



I just got

some bad news.

My heart is heavy.

I wonder is there

any hope for me?

Effloresence: Blooming from the Ashes

By Wenona Gardner

Wabun Anung (Morning Star)

Anishnaabekwe Ojibwe





Often times my life

crumbles as such

each time I have a

mental breakdown.

Sometimes I wonder

how far my mind can

really go in the end.

I wonder how long it will last?

My mind seems to have

great resilience which is

funny because people falsely

assume that mental illness

means weakness not strength.

I know I have limits.

I have decided to reject

Stigma in my life.

I reject it through and through.

Instead my mind is a Phoenix!



from the Ashes!

Great Creator gives me

Beauty for my Phoenix Ashes!

Wounded Healer

By Wenona Gardner

Wabun Anung (Morning Star)

Anishnaabekwe Ojibwe

As a Medicine Woman

I have learned through

my walk on Mother Earth

that my source is a Wounded Healer.

I lead by example,

as I reach in my wounds

and pull out the core of

pain inside to allow ultimate healing.

Once I saw a beautiful video

describing the Wounded Healer

just as it equated to the meaning of

a Peer Specialist as well which I am also.

Peer Specialist is a mental health consumer

who uses their experience and training

to help empower other mental health consumers

to focus on their recovery journey as well.

Again leading by example,

I see the beauty of using

experiences that normally would be

devastating and transforming them to healing.

Great Creator’s power to give beauty for ashes

feels very relative to me as I step out of

the ashes of the Phoenix Soul I have and

transform into something more priceless.

A Child of God.

Crazy Quilt

By Wenona Gardner

Wabun Anung (Morning Star)

Anishnaabekwe Ojibwe

I remember the first time

I experimented with sewing

a Crazy Quilt with my sewing machine.

I cut fabric from old clothes.

As the jagged fabrics

formed on my couch,

I noticed this beautiful

gold print of a Buck on green.

I decided to center the medicine

of deer into my Crazy Quilted pillow.

Deer medicine is about Gentleness.

I remember the majesty of this Buck.

Dancing around the Buck were

random shapes of green, gold, and orange.

I decided to add little bits of beads.

Made me feel happy to see this wonder unfold.

I saw my little pillow of recycled comfort

and I saw it was a mirror to my life.

How I shaped my brokenness into something

beauty and something to soothe my soul.

I hope that the bits of my life can

become something beautiful

as I help others to unfold into something

of a healing balm as a Wounded Healer.


By Wenona Gardner

Wabun Anung (Morning Star)

Anishnaabekwe Ojibwe

Since 2003

I started writing

my memoir

starting first with poetry.

Everytime I wrote

bits of free verse

tumbled onto the page.

I wondered the source?

I attempted to write

short stories of my life

but instead 20 plus poems

poured on the page.

I wondered if my heart

wrote prose naturally in

poetic rhythm and form.

I wrote my life in broken pieces.

Hoping that some day

these pieces could be

mended together and

form a Crazy Quilt.

Two Step

By Wenona Gardner

Wabun Anung (Morning Star)

Anishnaabekwe Ojibwe


Step by step

come dance with me

my love to the heart beat

of Mother Earth’s heart drum.


Love is in your eyes.

We first danced our first

Two Step dance in the house

through the halls

playing an Internet video.


I held your hands

we moved & stepped through

the carpeted living room and

through the kitchen floor.


Boom ba, Boom ba,  Boom ba, Boom ba,

went my heart as

Great Creator danced with us.

I spun you around our kitchen. LOL


My heart smiles when I think of

that simple memory as we take

our first steps as lovers

through the winter of the year.


Hoping to dance with you again

Baby in the coming of the

the Pow Wow season is here.

I want to dance with you for all time Polaris!


My Polaris

You are

my North Star.

My Polaris.

My way home.

You are the one

who brightens my life.

You see me and my heart.

You watched my videos

and read my stories and

shared with me how you

thought I was so unhappy

living in Wisconsin.

For the first time someone saw

the real me.

I was sad in my old place

in Waukesha, WI.

I didn’t have the joy I was

seeking and you saw my heart.

You invited me to come to

Omaha, NE to live with you.

Which after much soul searching

I did and proceeded to sacrifice

all my belongings including a brand

new queen bed which to me was valuable then.

But I learned there are things much more

valuable than furniture as people carried

away my belongings.

Love is what is much more important.

True love. A love that sees you for

who you are and shares the truth with you.

So I came to Omaha, NE after you and I exchanged

our wedding vows on July 6, 2014.

I arrived and not sure what life has in store for me.

I was scared but I stepped off the Amtrak with

two suitcases left of my belongings to be with you.

Every moment we have shared I treasure.

Every arcade game we ever played.

The sweetness of your kisses.

The warmth of your hand on my breast.

Everytime you were inside me

I felt my heart heal and open up

like a blossoming flower.

I am a good honest woman and

I did my best to care for you and your needs.

You know the truth of what really happened.

It was because I did your taxes legally.

I helped you find your current job.

You are still my husband in my heart.

I love you and you are the one I need still.

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